Call Now


Types of Substance Use Disorders

Read on to find out more about substance use disorder, the different types, how they are diagnosed, and the available treatment options.

What Is a Substance Use Disorder? 

Substance use disorder is often recurrent and can lead to severe life-threatening challenges and poor quality of life. It causes health problems, disabilities, and difficulty in maintaining focus at work, school, home, and other spheres of life. 

What is the Difference Between Substance Use Disorder and Addiction?

Although overusing a substance and using it for a purpose other than what it was designed for are both symptoms of substance abuse, these behaviors are not the same as addiction. For instance, it is a symptom of substance misuse if a patient is prescribed painkillers but takes them more frequently or at a higher dosage than recommended.2

Different Types of Substance Use Disorders 

Below are some of the different types of substance abuse disorders. 

Opioid Use Disorder 

Opioids can induce euphoria as well as analgesic and central nervous system depressive effects.

Opioid use disorder (OUD) might involve abusing legally obtained heroin, abusing diverted opioid drugs, or abusing legally obtained opioid prescriptions. OUD is often a relapsing, chronic condition with elevated morbidity and mortality rates.

Marijuana Use Disorder

Marijuana usage is linked to comorbid mental health issues like anxiety and mood disorders, and for some users, quitting cannabis is challenging. The use of marijuana is frequently accompanied by psychiatric comorbidities, such as a variety of personality problems.

Nicotine Use Disorder

A compulsive need to use drugs, particularly cigarettes, despite social repercussions, a lack of control over drug intake, and the appearance of withdrawal symptoms is known as nicotine dependence, which is a chronic, recurrent condition.

Stimulant Use Disorder 

According to the DSM-5, stimulant use disorder involves "the continuous use of non-medical stimulants such as cocaine, amphetamine-like drugs, or other stimulants that result in clinically significant impairment or discomfort, ranging from mild to severe."3

Sedative Use Disorder 

Sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic use disorder is characterized by the recurrent use of substances such as benzodiazepines, benzodiazepine-like drugs (such as zolpidem, zaleplon), carbamates (such as glutethimide, meprobamate), barbiturates (such as phenobarbital, secobarbital), and barbiturate-like hypnotics.

Cannabis Use Disorder

Cannabis use can result in intoxication, withdrawal, and biopsychosocial issues. Cannabis use disorder is the abuse of cannabis, notwithstanding a deterioration in psychological, physical, or social functioning.

Inhalant Use Disorder

Anything that may be inhaled without being burned or heated is considered an inhalant. Many people inhale the vapors of glue to unwind.4 They might breathe in amyl nitrite, which is used to treat angina attacks and lessen their discomfort. (The blood arteries relax, increasing the blood flow and oxygen to the heart.) Nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as "laughing gas," is frequently employed by dentists as a pain reliever. When used in large quantities, it can cause great happiness, confidence, and hallucinations in the user.4

Inhalant use disorder is a psychiatric condition that only affects people who abuse inhalants on purpose. It does not apply to people who accidentally breathe in toxic or psychoactive substances.4

Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder, sometimes known as alcoholism, is a condition. It entails consuming alcohol in large amounts or frequently, even when doing so results in issues, distress, or harm.

Symptoms of an Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol consumption disorders can range from minor to severe. It may take a while to develop, or it may happen rapidly. Alcohol misuse, dependency, and addiction are other names for it.

Symptoms of substance use disorder include:

  • Having frequent fights, accidents, or legal trouble

  • Secretive or suspicious behavior

  • Appetite or sleep changes

  • Mood swings or irritability

  • Lack of motivation

  • Bloodshot eyes or small pupils

  • Sudden weight changes

  • Poor physical appearance

  • Changes in social circle

  • Asking for money

How Are Substance Use Disorders Diagnosed?

Drug addiction (substance use disorder) diagnosis necessitates a thorough assessment, which frequently entails an evaluation by a psychiatrist, psychologist, or certified alcohol and drug counselor. Drug usage is assessed by blood, urine, or other lab tests; nevertheless, these tests do not serve as an addiction diagnostic tool. These tests could, however, be used to keep tabs on therapy and rehabilitation.5

Diagnostic Criteria

Most mental health practitioners utilize the criteria found in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), released by the American Psychiatric Association, to diagnose drug use disorders.5

The DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders are:

  • Using the drug in higher doses or for longer than recommended.

  • Attempting to reduce or quit using the substance but failing to do so

  • Spending a lot of time acquiring, utilizing, or recovering from drug use

  • Impulses and cravings to take the drug.

  • Not being able to perform the necessary tasks at work, home, or school because of substance abuse.

  • Even when using disrupts relationships, one keeps using.

  • Giving up significant social, professional, or recreational pursuits due to drug usage

  • Continually using drugs, even when doing so, puts you in danger.

  • Continuing to use while being aware of a mental or physical condition that the drug may have exacerbated or caused.

  • The emergence of withdrawal symptoms can be mitigated by ingesting more of the drug.

Causes of Substance Use Disorders

Risk Factors for Substance Use Disorders

Find Treatment Options For Substance Use Disorder at Anew Treatment Center

Substance Use Disorder

Substance Use Disorder

Available Treatment Opportunities

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy

The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy is very common. It blends cognitive therapy, which emphasizes patterns of thought, with behavioral therapy, which is concerned with patterns of conduct.

The treatment focuses on how your thoughts and beliefs affect your behavior and emotions.

Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy was developed to treat the signs of borderline personality disorder (BPD), and emotional regulation disorder characterized by suicidal conduct, depression, shaky interpersonal connections, and other symptoms.

Assertive Community Treatment 

Using a person-centered, recovery-based approach, Assertive Community Treatment is an evidence-based technique that provides treatment, rehabilitation, and support services to those diagnosed with significant mental illness.

Therapeutic Communities

Long-term residential treatment for substance use disorders frequently takes the form of therapeutic communities (TCs). The self-help recovery movement, including organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous, gave rise to residential treatment for SUDs in the late 1950s.6

Learn More About Our Treamtment Programs

Our team is ready to discuss your treatment options with you. Your call is confidential with no obligation is required.